741.31 Violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence.—
(1) In the event of a violation of the injunction for protection against domestic violence when there has not been an arrest, the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The clerk shall either assist the petitioner in the preparation of an affidavit in support of the violation or direct the petitioner to the office operated by the court within the circuit that has been designated by the chief judge of that circuit as the central intake point for injunction violations and where the petitioner can receive assistance in the preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation.
(2) The affidavit shall be immediately forwarded by the office assisting the petitioner to the state attorney of that circuit and to such court or judge as the chief judge of that circuit determines to be the recipient of affidavits of violation. If the affidavit alleges a crime has been committed, the office assisting the petitioner shall also forward a copy of the petitioner’s affidavit to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. No later than 20 days after receiving the initial report, the local law enforcement agency shall complete their investigation and forward the report to the state attorney. The policy adopted by the state attorney in each circuit under s. 741.2901(2), shall include a policy regarding intake of alleged violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence under this section. The intake shall be supervised by a prosecutor who, pursuant to s. 741.2901(1), has been designated and assigned to handle domestic violence cases. The state attorney shall determine within 30 working days whether its office will proceed to file criminal charges, or prepare a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in criminal contempt, or prepare both as alternative findings, or file notice that the case remains under investigation or is pending subject to some other action.
(3) If the court has knowledge, based on its familiarity with the case, that the petitioner, the children of the petitioner, or another person is in immediate danger if the court fails to act prior to the decision of the state attorney to prosecute, it should immediately issue an order of appointment of the state attorney to file a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in contempt. If the court does not issue an order of appointment of the state attorney, it shall immediately notify the state attorney that the court is proceeding to enforce the violation through criminal contempt.
(4)(a) A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued pursuant to s. 741.30, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315, by:
1. Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;
2. Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
3. Committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner;
4. Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
5. Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
6. Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
7. Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property, including the petitioner’s motor vehicle; or
8. Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court
commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, except as provided in paragraph (c).
(b)1. It is a violation of s. 790.233, and a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for a person to violate a final injunction for protection against domestic violence by having in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.
2. It is the intent of the Legislature that the disabilities regarding possession of firearms and ammunition are consistent with federal law. Accordingly, this paragraph shall not apply to a state or local officer as defined in s. 943.10(14), holding an active certification, who receives or possesses a firearm or ammunition for use in performing official duties on behalf of the officer’s employing agency, unless otherwise prohibited by the employing agency.
(c) A person who has two or more prior convictions for violation of an injunction or foreign protection order, and who subsequently commits a violation of any injunction or foreign protection order against the same victim, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “conviction” means a determination of guilt which is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
(5) Whether or not there is a criminal prosecution under subsection (4), the court shall order the respondent to attend a batterers’ intervention program if it finds a willful violation of a domestic violence injunction, unless the court makes written factual findings in its judgment or order which are based on substantial evidence, stating why a batterers’ intervention program would be inappropriate.
(6) Any person who suffers an injury and/or loss as a result of a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be awarded economic damages for that injury and/or loss by the court issuing the injunction. Damages includes costs and attorneys’ fees for enforcement of the injunction.
History.—s. 2, ch. 86-264; s. 169, ch. 91-224; s. 6, ch. 94-134; s. 6, ch. 94-135; s. 8, ch. 95-182; s. 36, ch. 95-184; s. 6, ch. 95-195; s. 4, ch. 96-392; s. 19, ch. 96-402; s. 6, ch. 97-155; s. 3, ch. 98-284; s. 73, ch. 99-5; s. 14, ch. 2002-55; s. 1, ch. 2016-187.